The 7 Chakras and the Endocrine System
The past two weeks have been rather intense for me and also very insightful. I want to share some of the things I have been learning in school and in my own personal studies.
This past weekend we were studying the endocrine system. It is a complex, interesting aspect of the body which doctors and researchers are still trying to understand. Our professor this weekend, Dr. Norman Solomon, shared in detail an overview and sometimes a micro view of how our endocrine system is believed to work today and imbalances and distributions can cause disease (or as many yoga therapists like to say dis – ease) in our system. The endocrine system explanation at its most basic is a feedback loop as we understand it today.
One thing I also found very fascinating was that the endocrine glands line up with the chakra system – yoga and science in agreement! If you are not familiar with the term chakra (wheels of energy) here is a great article from yoga journal about the chakra system. This is an excerpt from that article. “As Alan Finger, founder of ISHTA Yoga, explains, the first five chakras are associated with the physical elements earth, water, fire, air, and ether (or space). The last two chakras are thought to connect us beyond the earthly realm, so they are associated with the elements of light and cosmic energy.”
According to yoga tradition the chakras are part of the subtle body that cannot be seen or touched. This subtle body is where energy flows. These 7 chakras are locations that are considered vortexes of energy. (Hang in there with me)! Traditional yoga says these are energy vortexes where energy flows and crosses and interacts with our other energy vortexes at the same location that our endocrine glands also reside in a feedback loop in the body. Interesting? I find it totally fascinating that I can trace disruptions in my own endocrine system to disturbances I had in my emotional and mental states or chakras system.
The 2019 the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2019 went to William G. Kaelin Jr , Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe , Gregg L. Semenza for studying the effects of oxygen on our cells. Here is a summary from the Nobel Prize website:
Animals need oxygen for the conversion of food into useful energy. The fundamental importance of oxygen has been understood for centuries, but how cells adapt to changes in levels of oxygen has long been unknown.The Essence of Life by William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza
William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza discovered how cells can sense and adapt to changing oxygen availability. They identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen.
The seminal discoveries by this 2019’s Nobel Laureates revealed the mechanism for one of life’s most essential adaptive processes. They established the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function. Their discoveries have also paved the way for promising new strategies to fight anemia, cancer and many other diseases.
At the foundation of yoga is breath, aka oxygen, in our cells. There are different types of breathwork based on how our system is functioning or not functioning. Now we have science catching up to ancient tradition saying the level of oxygen in our cells has a significant impact on how those cells function and interact.
I think sometimes we can get lost in modern society that we have to have proven science to cure our diseases. Instead of common-sense solutions to create better health and well-being. Meaning, we are so focused on the negative, we forget the positive. As an example, I have a breathwork / mediation practice every morning. If I miss that practice I literally don’t feel as well throughout the day. I tend to be more tired. I tend to have less patience. I find that serenity can be difficult to sink into. This is just anecdotal, but it’s consistent in my life. I like to have an hour plus of time to breath / mediate / pray / journal and have a short asana, but on days I can’t get it all in I take what I can. I spend 10 minutes in focused yoga breathing. It has changed how I walk through my days.
Can you start at 5 min practice today? 5 minutes of focused breathing? Working up to 10, 15, 20? Do you notice a difference? Are you able to stay more focused at work? Are you able to be more present with your partner? Your kids? Your dog? Are you able to sleep better at night? What shifts do you notice? Try it and see how you feel!
Interested in meditating with me or having a private yoga instructor in Los Angeles? Contact me to find out more about my affordable private yoga lessons in Los Angeles and meditations sessions in Los Angeles!